If you’re drawing breath today, you’re likely aware of how popular video games have become over the past few decades. Video games have become an enormous industry that rakes in billions of sweet, delicious dollars every year and, unless we experience some sort of intelligent ape uprising, we’re going to see video game design become more lucrative each year for the foreseeable future. If you know how to code a game, you can write your own check.
That’s why we developed this article. In this guide, we take a look at how to code a game from the ground up. Even if you have no prior game development knowledge, you can start writing your own games in much less time than you might imagine. We look at the basic steps of game development from concept to design to coding. Before long, you’ll be creating games in your sleep.
Get Your Design Down
Game design (conceiving and plotting out what the game will do) is key to your game’s eventual success or failure. A well-conceived and thoughtfully mapped-out game not only sets the tone for the entire project, but it also dictates all of your subsequent actions on the project, so it’s worth taking the time to get your design right the first time.
You’ll need a hook (what makes your game memorable and unique), and you’ll want to plot out all of the game’s mechanics, as well: what sort of actions can your character perform? What limitations will they have? A well-crafted story is essential, so make sure to sit down and think about your character’s background and motivation (this is where you get to world build, which is awesome and fun). Finally, give some thought to mood. How does your game make players feel when they finish? What sorts of sounds and visuals will you employ? The better an idea you have of all of these points, the more coherent your development process will be.
Commence to Coding
You’ve got the game’s concept and design fixed firmly in mind, and now you get to translate those concepts into lines of code. For many people, this is where the road to game design ends because learning a coding language seems intimidating and impossible. You’d be surprised at how easy picking up snippets of code can be, though. While you’ll need to learn some programming to get your game finished, it doesn’t have to be an impossible task.
First, you’ll need to decide which game engine to use. Your intended platform will primarily dictate your game engine choice—SpriteKit for IOS, Unreal for consoles and PC, for example. You then need to work out which language in which you’ll be coding. Your engine selection will somewhat dictate this choice, but many engines allow multiple languages. Study your design carefully, and then review what each coding language brings to the table. You’re sure to find out which one is suited to fulfill your requirements once you take the time to compare them all.
And that’s the whole story. While the notion of coding your own game might seem far-fetched, you could be developing a game before you know it. All you need is a little motivation, a free keyboard, and this guide. Your game-development skills will open doors for you and set you up for career success, so why not get started today?